Why No One in Law Enforcement Should Ignore the Internet

Discussion in 'Justice for JonBenet Discussion - Public Forum' started by Tricia, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. Tricia

    Tricia Administrator Staff Member

    (All bold is mine)

    Last summer I e-mailed Chief Beckner. It involved trying to find out what was up with Lee Hill's arrest warrant. I was getting the runaround like you wouldn't believe. All I wanted to know was who I had to call to find out if the warrant was still valid. Every single department told me to contact another department until literally I was going in circles.

    Here is my email to Beckner.

    Dear Chief Beckner,

    My name is Tricia Griffith. I own a discussion forum at

    We have put up information concerning the arrest warrant for Walter
    Leon Hill aka Lee Hill. 3/26/1959 Criminal action number

    Chief Beckner the trouble I am running into is I can't get anyone from the police department, or any department for that matter, to call me back with updated information.

    Chief Beckner I hope you understand my concern. I would hate to have Lee Hill on the front page of my discussion forum ( that gets well over 300 thousand hits a week) if he is in custody or his case has been cleared up.

    If you could please direct me to someone I could talk with concerning Lee Hill. I would like to check in at least once a week with this person. Like I said I do not want incorrect information being put out for the world to see.

    I thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this matter.


    Tricia Griffith
    owner www.forumsforjustice.org

    Ok nowhere do I even come close to suggesting I want special treatment. Nor do I suggest he take part in any Internet discussion. I wanted the proper name or department so I could call and get the info. Now here is his response to me.


    This is simply something we do not get into......providing information for internet discussion forums. As you can imagine, this would open the door for all sorts of requests from many different people. We do not
    have the time or the interest to get involved with this sort of thing. As a member of the public, you can certainly use normal channels to request copies of public information from our Records Section.

    Ok me jumping here. I thought we were helping law enforcement by putting Hill's name and picture out there but I guess there is no desire to help anyone who wants to capture criminals in Boulder. Also note I had called the "records section" about a million times and they told me to call the police department. I wanted to go through "normal" channels like he said. Trouble was no one knew what those normal channels were. Now more..

    "However,there are some things that are protected by law and there will be a charge for providing copies of reports. You may also make such requests of the Boulder County Sheriff's Department, who operates the county jail.

    Thank you for understanding.

    Mark R. Beckner"

    In my email did I even suggest I wanted something for free? NO. I did call the Sheriff's office and was told to call records who told me to call the police. Finally I called the jail directly and was able to get info. Now for a layman like me how in the world would I know to call the jail to find updated warrant info.

    Can this guy be any more condescending? He might as well called me a white trash pig for bothering him. His contempt for the Internet oozed out from the email like a festering sore.

    Now let's talk about San Diego Prosecutor Jeff Dusek who actually turned to the Internet for help in the Danielle van Damn/Westerfield case.

    From the San Diego Tribune:

    Anecdotes offered from murder case

    By Alex Roth

    December 12, 2002

    When a person goes in search of enlightenment, it's usually good advice to avoid an Internet chat room. And yet it was a random posting on the Internet that led to a key piece of evidence in the David Westerfield case.

    At a luncheon in Mission Valley yesterday, prosecutors Jeff Dusek and George "Woody" Clarke told a number of anecdotes – some of them funny, others poignant and revealing – about what happened behind the scenes in the most publicized criminal trial in San Diego County history.

    The luncheon was organized by the San Diego Crime Commission and about 100 people attended.

    The lawyers talked about their late-night strategy sessions, about the emotional toll of the case on their spouses, about moments of inspiration that came from the strangest of places.

    They also took some shots at the media coverage – especially the media's treatment of the parents of 7-year-old Danielle van Dam – and revealed some previously undisclosed statements they said were made by Westerfield. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 3 for kidnapping and killing the Sabre Springs second-grader. A jury has recommended the death penalty.

    It was Dusek who told the story about the Internet.

    During the trial, he said, the lawyers were surfing a Web site where most of the postings were from people convinced of Westerfield's innocence. Several of the postings dealt with the subject of the blond hairs found in Westerfield's motor home.

    Prosecutors said the hair proved that Westerfield kidnapped the girl. Westerfield's lawyers said their client often kept the motor home unlocked in the neighborhood and that the girl might have snuck inside at some point to play.

    On the chat room, the discussion turned to speculation about whether the prosecution had bothered to find out the date of Danielle's last haircut. The consensus in the chat room was that of course they had.

    Actually, they hadn't. They'd never thought to do so.

    It turned out that Danielle's last haircut had been five days before her disappearance. After the haircut, her hair was eight inches long – the exact length of the hairs found in the motor home, which hadn't been parked in the neighborhood for several months.


    Jeff Dusek had no trouble turning to the Internet for help. In fact he seemed quite thrilled with it actually.

    Jeff Dusek won his case. Chief Beckner had his taken away. "nuff said.

    I hope Chief Beckner re-thinks his position on the Internet. Especially since Forums for Justice is getting ready to launch a new Cold Case files section where we will be working with law enforcement. A law enforcement community that is glad to have our help. Welcomes it.

    One final note. I hope all of you had a chance to visit the Richard Illes section of our forum. One of our posters, LurkerXIV, covered that trial for us and did a great job. You can't tell me for one second that the prosecutor or the defense didn't check in on FFJ every day for ideas.

    We really are here to help if those with closed minds will let us.
  2. Watching You

    Watching You Superior Bee Admin

    No self-respecting

    law enforcement person would turn up his nose at ideas posted by hundreds of people. In fact, there are some very educated and logical people on the internet. It's the first time lay people have ever had a chance to express their views and ideas. To dismiss us out of hand is just arrogant, not to mention stupid.

    Of course, one has to be smart enough to realize that most of us are not a jameson or mame. And, thank the good Lord for that.
  3. BobC

    BobC Poster of the EON - Fabulous Inimitable Transcript

    Guys so many internet crazies drove the BPD to distraction early on that now I am sure they want nothing to do with forums. Thank Jameson especially for this. There was a time when some people in Law Enforcement thought the forums were great, but no more.
  4. Tricia

    Tricia Administrator Staff Member

    Bob I disagree with this one comment:
    "There was a time when some people in Law Enforcement thought the forums were great, but no more."

    Now if you are talking about the BPD perhaps you are correct but other LE across the nation are sitting up and taking notice.

    Also to be a good cop, leader, you must be able to sift out the nuts from the people who might be able to help you.

    Think about it. I had put up a poster of a wanted man, considered dangerous mind you, and this is the response I get. Beckner had never even heard of me. I didn't come across as a nut. To lump all of us with Jameson and Mame is wrong and poor thinking when solving cases. IMO.
  5. LurkerXIV

    LurkerXIV Moderator


    I can't believe the kind of treatment you got from Beckner. What a supercilious SOB! Only in Boulder. And you weren't telephoning 10 times a day like that internet nut jameson, who because of her annoying practices, makes things bad for all internet reporters.

    Every police department worth its salt has a Public Information Officer, to whom Beckner could have referred you without getting so snippy about it.

    The PIO is usually better trained in such simple things as manners, and courtesy, and believe me, they are extremely patient with the public. Of course, they get whackos calling up occasionally, but their training in interpersonal relationships, communications skills, etc., allow them to deftly handle all callers.

    I have had occasion to speak to PIO's in different jurisdictions, and never once received a response like the one you got from Beckner.

    I can only conclude that Beckner's appointment was totally political and in no way related to his intelligence, skills, or personal qualities.
  6. Freebird

    Freebird Active Member

    Tricia, are you sure you were in touch with Beckner....lots of criminals still roaming free in this case doncha know.
  7. LurkerXIV

    LurkerXIV Moderator


    Maybe Susan Stine answers his emails!
  8. Tricia

    Tricia Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks LurkerXIV. I have held off on posting that email for quite awhile but there is something interesting that will be coming out concerning the Internet which this ties into. Sorry. Can't tell you what it is. I'd have to kill you. Don't want to do that :) Anyway I thought now was a good time to discuss this issue.

    I'm glad to see I wasn't just being sensitive. I felt like such a nutwad when I received that email. I was embarrassed. Then angry. Here is my response which I forgot to post.

    Chief Beckner,

    I am sorry if I gave you the impression I was looking for something other than public information. I am not. I am not looking for comments at all. I just needed to know the proper channels to go through to find current
    information concerning Lee Hill's warrant. The reason I finally e-mailed you is because I have been getting the run around.

    Thank you for providing me with the correct information. I only needed the right person to contact to find out if warrant for Lee Hill is still in effect.

    Once again I apologize if I gave you the impression I was asking for something more.

    Tricia Griffith

    Actually he wasn't that much help. I only called the jail because it was the last phone number I hadn't called. All Beckner had to say was, "Call the jail," End of story.

    Freebird you are right. Who knows who I was talking to. Could have been the SS Nazi, She was doing her Beckner thing then..LOL. The email came from the BPD so I am certain it was legit.
  9. Elle

    Elle Member


    Sorry you got the runaround from Mark Beckner. I can well understand your feelings. He may have to eat his words further down the road.

    I'm looking forward to all your news on the Cold Case Files Section you're planning. Jameson will be green with envy. Good luck with this!

    Lurker, this must have been quite a task for you. Are you a courtroom journalist? Just curious!
  10. BobC

    BobC Poster of the EON - Fabulous Inimitable Transcript

    I meant law enforcement dealing with this case. Beckner is once again having his department attacked over the Keenan's remarks regarding the CU rape stuff so I'm sure he's feeling a bit over-cautious dealing with people he doesn't really know.
  11. Aurora

    Aurora Member


    Look at the bright side...althou abrupt... he did email you back. He didn't ignore your request.
  12. Jayelles

    Jayelles Alert Viewer in Scotland


    Perhaps Chief Beckner judges us all on his experience of a few? Might not be his fault.

    Basically, I see discussion groups as a great big brainstorming session. Obviously, there is repetition and a lot of gunk, but sometimes a passing remark by someone can be so useful in helping my thought processes.

    PLUS, it's often the outsider who will ask the daftest little question that everyone else has missed! Only this week did I experience this. My backstage helping teams for the school show have been in training for weeks and a junior boy came to see me begging to be allowed to help. Only seniors are allowed to help backstage but this young boy pleaded for a trial and as I agreed to a trial. He has been superb. Easily one of the pillars of the team. He's not only hardworking and reliable, he was also the person who came up with the solution to a potentially catastrophic difficulty we encountered!

    Never underestimate the little guy :)
  13. RiverRat

    RiverRat FFJ Sr. Member Extraordinaire (Pictured at Lef

  14. RiverRat

    RiverRat FFJ Sr. Member Extraordinaire (Pictured at Lef


    Beckner's online fans say he's a 'hunk'

    Boulder's newly named police chief may have a head start in the popularity polls — online, at least.

    The Mark Beckner Fan Club debuted its World Wide Web site early Wednesday, less than a day after Boulder's acting city manager promoted the detective commander.

    "That Internet is something else," a hesitant Beckner said Wednesday afternoon after learning of his online following.

    The fan club and Web site are the creation of Chris Wheeler, a 33-year-old Lansing, Mich., resident who works at a software development company.

    Wheeler said she's followed Beckner's career since last fall, when outgoing Boulder Police Chief Tom Koby asked the commander to head the investigation into the Dec. 26, 1996, unsolved slaying of 6-year-old JonBenét Ramsey.

    "There's a large faction of people following the Ramsey case, and I'm one of those people," Wheeler said.

    "I've been impressed by Mark Beckner and thought this would be a fun and fitting tribute to his accomplishments," she added, calling him a "by-the-book" professional and man of integrity.

    The site features photos and quotes from Beckner lifted from news stories, as well as a timeline of the new chief's career.

    There's even a caricature of Beckner's oft-quoted "umbrella of suspicion" — a rough drawing of JonBenét's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, standing beneath an umbrella.

    Beckner has used the phrase repeatedly since taking over the investigation, stopping short of calling the parents suspects in their daughter's death.

    And the site also displays reactions — such as, "You go Beckner!!! There WILL be justice for you, JonBenét" — from online Ramsey discussion groups, including one found on the Daily Camera's BoulderNews site.

    Wheeler said the fan club idea was "something that I just pulled out of thin air." She since has received a number of e-mails "wondering when we're going to get 8x10 glossies signed by Mark Beckner."

    The self-proclaimed fan club president said she would love to meet Beckner. The new chief has an online reputation as a "hunk," Wheeler said.

    "There are a lot of comments about his appearance."

    The Mark Beckner Fan Club site is at http://members.tripod.com/BecknerFanClub/index.htm

    June 25, 1998
  15. Tricia

    Tricia Administrator Staff Member

    OMG....I don't know what to say. I wonder if anyone ever got their 8x10's. Signed of course.

    I think when Beckner was made chief so many held out hope that he was going to take this cluster of a case by the horns and do something. Perhaps the excitement of seeing someone she thought would actually change things for the better prompted CW to put up the website. Then again maybe it was a middle aged crush.

    I think the thing that bothered me about this whole deal is Beckner was being informed that a group of people (who were trying to get the word out about a wanted man) was getting the run-a-round where public information was concerned. I guess I expected more of a, "Sorry you are having problems. Here is the person to call for that info." That's all.

    BobC what is going on with the BPD and Keenan's office? Is there anymore news or is it the same thing concerning the CU scandal.

    I don't envy Beckner when it comes to dealing with Keenan and her wild a$$ charges that his cop(s) obstructed justice.

    Has their been one atom of proof that this happened?
  16. Watching You

    Watching You Superior Bee Admin

    An insider's view

    you had to know it was coming :rolleyes:

    I know from having a daughter on the police force that cops do get very jaded from dealing with Code 6 Wingnuts. My daughter calls them "loonies," but same difference. For the most part, cops don't start out thinking that way about people, but it's the nature of their profession that most of them end up feeling that way. My daughter has come to hate just about every human being on earth, and when she's got her time in for retirement, she's out of there, because she knows what the job has done to her. I understand where she is coming from. If you knew the idiots cops deal with, you would understand, too.

    It's those idiots that spoil it for everyone. I got picked up for speeding a couple of months ago by the biggest prick on the police force. He was rude and condescending, told me I was going 41 in a 30 MPH zone, but I knew I wasn't. I was going 36, which no one but him would pick anyone up for doing. My daughter tells me he will give his own wife a ticket and be nasty doing it. He did not give me a ticket, which shocked my daughter, because he gives everyone a ticket. Perhaps he wasn't fooled by my calm demeanor in the face of his mean spiritedness and knew I would go into court full-barrell against him, and I would have won. It does no good to argue with as$holes like him, but I would have beat him in court, and he knew it. I had a witness with me.

    I remember this guy when he first started on the police force. He was a really nice guy. It was only after dealing with jerks that he became one himself. In Beckner's case, I suspect he is very defensive because of the criticism that has come his way, on top of having to deal with blockheads like jameson and Candy and the likes of grassroots reporters like mame.

    I'm not defending these guys, nor do I defend my daughter's attitude toward others, but I understand it. I only know she was never like that before she became a cop. She was the sweetest, most good-natured girl, always helping others, always kind. Now all she wants is to be with her animals - her horses, dogs, and cats when she's not working. They are her therapy, they are her healers from the evil she sees in people by virtue of her profession.

    I don't like what the job has done to her, and, frankly, I will be glad when she retires from the police force. It's not even the violent crimes so much as it is the everyday BS, like people throwing gallons of milk at you or drugged out mental cases fighting with you. She carries scars on her arms from fingernails of some loonies she had to fight with to take down. Full-fledged loonies are very strong, she was in full combat with them.

    Some cops thrive on the power they carry. She doesn't. Some cops stay on after retirement age, because their egos love the bully side of being a cop. For someone who is not built that way to begin with, it's a tough row to hoe. She does her job and that's it.

    I guess you have to see it from both sides. You get enough crap thrown at you from the public, you start to hate them. I expect that's what's happened to Beckner, at least in part. OTOH, like I said, there are some cops who were jerks to begin with, and the power that comes with being a cop just makes them bigger jerks.
  17. Watching You

    Watching You Superior Bee Admin

    Now, Beckner

    He seems to have a little ego thing going there, yes? Is he one of these guys who gets all pumped reading praise about himself? Did he get so fluffy thinking he had a fan club made up of women that he spent time reading the posts from his adoring fans on the internet?

    Well, well, well, then. Isn't it just a little bit suspicious that Beckner could spend all that time (and the interest) reading his fan mail on the forums, but he can't find the time (or the interest) to read the excellent posts on the forums concerning the murder of a little girl seven years ago? What, does he consider all posts to be written by nuts, EXCEPT those that fawn over him?

    That actually says a lot about the man himself, not to mention the upholding of the job he's supposed to be doing. A little humility might be in order to begin with. Take advantage of what's being offered freely by intelligent people and stop sniveling about the nuts on the internet. Everyone knows they are there - they are everywhere.

    Beckner needs look no further than the DA's office in Boulder if he wants to see some real nuts. Take Smit, for example, who has collaborated with the Little Head nutjob jameson. Yes, she has even been in Smit's home, working with him on the JB case, by her own admission on her swamp forum. Beckner ought not be dissing us internet posters when he's got the biggest nuts in his own back yard.

    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2004
  18. Tricia

    Tricia Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks WY. I understand what you are saying about cops. I can see how they would start to be so jaded that to them everyone is a jerk. Who can blame them really. I don't. I understand it and I am just glad there are people still willing to be cops in this day and age. Like your daughter. Of course she is such a good person because she has such a wonderful mom :hug:

    I guess I expected Beckner, being that he is the chief, to react a bit differently but I am sure he is jaded too. Like you said. All the nutcases calling him and such.
  19. Watching You

    Watching You Superior Bee Admin

    Ah, yes, Tricia

    just to clarify my post a little, that can explain the rotten attitudes of some cops, but it doesn't excuse rudeness. I have to continually remind my own daughter that rudeness is not acceptable in her job, even if she feels that way. She manages to keep a civil tongue most of the time when dealing with fools, but I can often hear an edge in her voice when she's on her lunch hour at my house and she is asked to call someone. All she has to do is hear a name, and she'll roll her eyes. These are the ones who complain about something every single day of their lives.

    The bottom line is, these guys signed on to do a job. Either do it or get out of the job. They are dealing with the public, and like it or not, they are supposed to remain professional and leave their attitudes at home. Beckner's e-mail to you was heavy with his condescending attitude and it was uncalled for.
  20. BobC

    BobC Poster of the EON - Fabulous Inimitable Transcript

    Yup--what Watching You is describing here was a million times worse for the BPD because of all the media scrutiny. They, at one point, were getting literally hundreds, if not thousands, of tips per day and a lot of them turned out to be cranks and mentally ill people and people who thought they were psychic. I am sure they are still getting them. Then you have the forums. I know the boulder PD has neither the time nor the patience to wade through all the crazies to find their way to the few sane people. What Mame pulled with Krebs pretty much signed the death warrant for the forums. Remember, Mame seemed honest and intelligent and helpful at one time and look what happened.

    I think we should let law enforcement do their jobs and we should not try to get mixed up in it. No matter what the BPD does, they get kicked in the balls for it. Recently Keenan made a public statement that one of the BPD was basically enabling rapists--and people are wondering why Beckner isn't as fluffy as he used to be? I'm surprised he hasn't pulled a Columbine!
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